the Little Red Reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘golem

Kiln People,  by Davin Brin

published in 2002

where I got it: purchased used

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If this had been published today, I’m sure it would have started a frenzy of golem-punk stories. And who isn’t fascinated by the idea of golems? A non-person who exists for a fixed amount of time to do your bidding, and then melts away when they are no longer needed. The perfect solution to jobs that are too dangerous or tedious for humans, Dittos are certainly a sort of salvation.

In the near future described in Kiln People, technological advances are in the arena of the weighing and measuring of the human soul. “Ditto-ing” yourself has become so mainstream that many families have a private kiln and storage unit for clay blanks that are delivered daily. Simply lie down on the copier with your head between the tendrils, and a few minutes later a clay “you” sits up from the other table, ready to do manual labor, run errands, run your business, attend your classes, do your homework, or a myriad of other activities you might do during your day. The golem may be clay, but it’s still you. A you with your memories, your soul, your voice, and your mind. At the end of the day hopefully you return home to yourself for inloading, so the original flesh and blood you can get the memories your golem collected during the day.

Color coded to denote internal quality, golem society has it’s own stratified classist attitudes. Designed to only last 24 hours, if the golem can’t get home to inload at the end of the day, it reflexively seeks out a public recycling dumpster, to return to that which it was. The society Brin has created is incredibly fascinating, and was probably my favorite part of the book.

“Maybe we should suggest a 24 hour lifespan to the professor” “Nah, he’d never go for something like that. besides, what could possibly go wrong?”

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.